Establishing user needs for a stability assessment tool to guide wheelchair prescription

Article


Moody, L., Evans, J., Fielden, S., Heelis, M., Dryer, P., Shapcott, N., Magee, P. and Stefanov, D. 2017. Establishing user needs for a stability assessment tool to guide wheelchair prescription. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 12 (1), pp. 47-55. https://doi.org/10.3109/17483107.2015.1063019
TypeArticle
TitleEstablishing user needs for a stability assessment tool to guide wheelchair prescription
AuthorsMoody, L., Evans, J., Fielden, S., Heelis, M., Dryer, P., Shapcott, N., Magee, P. and Stefanov, D.
Abstract

Purpose: The WheelSense project aims to develop a system for assessing the stability and performance of wheelchairs through a user-centred design process. This study sought to capture user needs and define the specification for the system. Method: A mixed methods approach was adopted. An online survey was completed by 98 participants working in wheelchair provision. The results were built upon through 10 semi-structured interviews and one focus group (n = 5) with professionals working in wheelchair provision in three NHS Trusts in the UK. Results: The results provided a picture of the current UK practice in stability testing. Issues with the reliability and usefulness of the existing methods used to assess the stability and performance of wheelchairs were highlighted. Requirements for a new system were ascertained. These included improved accuracy of tipping angles, features to support record keeping, improved client/carer education support and ability to model or predict client-wheelchair system performance in different configurations. Conclusions: The paper concludes that there is a need for improved tools to determine the stability of the client-wheelchair system and support the prescription process, to ensure client safety and optimum equipment performance. A list of requirements has been produced to guide the future development of WheelSense.
Implications for Rehabilitation
The results of this survey and interview-based study present a picture of wheelchair stability testing practices in the UK, and highlight the need for new, more informative methods for guiding wheelchair prescription.
The requirements for the design of a new system, or further development of existing tools to support the stability testing and prescription of wheelchairs have been established.

LanguageEnglish
PublisherTaylor and Francis
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
ISSN1748-3107
Electronic1748-3115
Publication dates
Online03 Jul 2015
Print02 Jan 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Oct 2015
Accepted13 Jun 2015
Submitted15 Dec 2014
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3109/17483107.2015.1063019
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